Monarch Migration

The annual migration of monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippusis) has begun. It has to be an amazing adventure if you are the butterfly, or spectacular site if you are a person able to observe the migration in progress.
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Authors
Amy Stone

Beech Blight Aphids Shake Their Booty

I believe no other insect upstages Beech Bligh Aphids in entertainment value. During a visit to a Lake County, OH, park last Thursday, Jim Chatfield and I came across a cluster of these engaging aphids shaking their woolly derrieres in what appeared to be a synchronous samba. All we needed was "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty" by KC and the Sunshine Band blaring in the background to complete the effect.
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Authors
Joe Boggs
Jim Chatfield

Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) Update – Don't Rush to Cut Walnut Trees!

The long-term outlook for eastern black walnuts seemed dire when the Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) complex was confirmed in Butler County, OH, in 2013. Thankfully, TCD has not followed the devastating trajectory we originally feared. It is not rolling through our native black walnuts à la emerald ash borer on native ash. The two situations are like apples-to-oranges.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

No Asian Hornets in the U.S.

When you read or hear about "Asian hornets," you need to keep two things in mind. First, the "Asian" moniker has been commonly applied to at least three hornet species native to various Asian regions. The second thing to remember is that none of these hornets have been found living in the U.S.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Invasive Plant Species Alert - Japanese Stiltgrass

Japanese stiltgrass was not on my radar until a recent visit to a local park. It had piqued my interest because of the plants lushness beneath a full canopy of trees. My first thought was, what is this grass that could be a recommendation for shady sights? My excitement quickly waned because our hosts explained that the annual grass unfortunately, is an invasive species.
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Authors
Cindy Meyer

Eastern Filbert Blight on Hazelnut

Eastern filbert blight is a disease of filbert and hazelnut trees (Corylus spp.). It is caused by a native fungus. In a natural setting, filbert blight causes a relatively minor disease on native American hazelnut shrubs (Corylus americana) causing small cankers on the stems and branches. However, the disease is lethal to introduced and commercially important European hazelnut (Corylus avellana) in orchards.
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Authors
Amy Stone

Annual of the Week - Cotton

This interesting annual caught my attention earlier in the season, and it just kept getting better and better.  As the cotton plant grows, it can be quite the conversation piece. It can be planted in the ground or in containers. It prefers poor and dry soil conditions. The planting at Toledo Botanical Garden (TBG) is a mass planting in the Artist Village where the cotton will be harvested and utilized by local artists. The plants are approximately 4 feet tall.
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Authors
Amy Stone

Bagworms are Wrapping Up

Most of the Common Bagworms I looked at yesterday in southern Ohio and central Indiana had initiated their annual "tie-off" in preparation for pupation. Bags are tightly closed and tied with silk to a twig or other anchorage point. This means the damage caused by these caterpillars wrapped in silk bags festooned with host plant debris is drawing to a close.
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Authors
Joe Boggs